Unfortunately, money doesn't grow on trees. Wi-Fi and electricity, on the other hand, sometimes do. The eTree, created by Israeli renewables firm Sologic, is a public space intervention aimed at provide a place to rest, connect to the internet and recharge devices.
The eTree is reminiscent of the Green Sun Rising Solar Benches that provide shade and device charging and the Wi-Fi cows that were dotted around the UK's Glastonbury Festival last year. Like those examples, a relatively small installation is required to provide a convenient public facility.
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As well as being a public space facility, Sologic describes the eTree as being part social-environmental enterprise and part ecological sculpture. Sologic says it is aimed at promoting environmental awareness and sustainability, as well as creating a link between the community and the environment.
The eTree uses solar panels mounted on "branches" to harvest energy and generate electricity from the sun. Using this electricity, the eTree powers USB charging points for mobile devices, free Wi-Fi for the surrounding area and an LCD screen providing information, such as the amount of electricity generated by the tree. The eTree also provides night-time lighting.
In addition to their roles in generating electricity, the branches and solar panels provide shade for the area below. Depending on the configuration of the eTree, this might include a bench for the public to use as a rest point. A drinking fountain can also be incorporated into design, as can a water trough for pets.
The eTree is designed for use in residential and urban areas such as courtyards, schools, universities and parks. It can be configured according to the requirements of the specific site. Sologic's first eTree was recently "planted" in the Ramat Hanadiv nature park in Israel.
The video below provides an overview of the eTree.